MindFit Cop: a web-app developed for the UK College of Policing

This web-app mindfulness course, co-developed and co-led by Michael, is now available to over 200,000 policing staff across England and Wales. Independent research has shown that the programme enhances wellbeing, resilience and work performance in its users.

The programme was commissioned by the UK’s College of Policing – a professional body established to support policing in England and Wales.

They were approached by Jenni McIntryre-Smith, a police inspector who had found mindfulness practice to be hugely supportive in her own work. Jenni had already been leading 8-week courses in her own constabulary – with considerable success. She encouraged the College to make the practices more widely available throughout the force and got in touch with Michael to work alongside her on the project.

With funding and resources secured, Michael and Jenni designed and recorded 8 weeks of video-guided mindfulness training sessions along with written materials, web-links and downloadable audio materials to support home practice.

Michael and Jenni formed an excellent partnership for this programme. Michael brought his long engagement in, and deep knowledge of, mindfulness practice – along with years of experience in teaching the methods and his academic credentials. Jenni brought her own teaching style, deep conviction in the benefits of the practices based on her own experience and, crucially, her understanding of the realities of policing.

The College arranged for the programme – which came to be called MindFit Cop – to be trialled alongside a popular mindfulness app to see how, if at all, they improved police staff wellbeing.

A six-month study showed that there is ‘strong evidence’ that using online mindfulness tools can help police officers and staff improve their sense of wellbeing.

The randomised control trial, carried out by the College of Policing, split police officers and staff into three groups – those who used Mindfit Cop, those who used a different mindfulness app and website and a final group made up of those who did not use either product. 

Involving more than 1,300 officers and staff, it found that those using the two mindfulness products had improved average performance in their job, personal resilience and wellbeing in comparison to the group who were not using either product.

The online training is now freely available to policing staff via Oscar Kilo, home of the national police wellbeing service.

The programme has been reported in the Guardian and other media.

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